Kayaks Surfing the Potomac River at Great Falls

Video Tip:  The video is 2 min 23 seconds and is best watched on full screen, and select HD.

YesterdayI went for a hike in Great Falls, VA. The trail I hiked went along the Potomac River along the Virginia side of the Mather Gorge (The other side is Maryland.)

As I walked upstream, the Potomac went from wide and placid to narrow and swirling, then rough, until just below Great Falls it was roiling and boiling like a cauldron!

I was about 60 feet above the water at the top of the Mather Gorge and I watched these kayaks do something I’ve never seen before.

Each would take a turn pulling out into the current and heading upstream. They positioned themselves carefully in specific spot where a large churning wave created a down-slope  From there, they could surf, just like a California surfboard on the crest of a wave.

It didn’t look easy and required a lot of adjusting and correction but this video shows a guy who hung in there for a couple minutes–a feat that looked physically grueling.

Just getting in that water impressed me, but what this video shows is, in my opinion, an extreme sport!



  1. Hey … Aren’t we supposed to go for a ride one of these weekends. Let me know what works for you though Sundays work best for me.
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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